Rivaling Fleischer studios with their abstract rubber-hose animation style and hot jazz musical scores, the RKO Van Beuren Tom & Jerry cartoons (1931-1933) have become classics for their sheer surrealism. Currently in distribution at 99 Cents Only Stores is one of the greatest bargains I’ve ever seen: a dvd of nine Van Beuren TOM & JERRY cartoons! That’s 11 cents per cartoon! And if that’s not enough for you, it comes with a free 10 minute phone card inside the package!! (Thanks to Larry Loc for providing one for the Brew archives)And the dvd works – and the print quality isn’t too bad. They look like 16mm transfers – and most have the original Tom & Jerry title cards. The packaging is a cheap cardboard “envelope” that has been shrink wrapped. This dvd says it’s volume 1 – has anyone out there found volume two? If so, what titles are on it?The company putting these out is called Television Classics in Solona Beach, CA – and they’ve stocked the 99 Cent Only stores with dozens of similiarly packaged PD dvd collections – including Ozzie & Harriet, Dick Van Dyke, Burns & Allen, Make Room For Daddy and Lone Ranger television episodes, not to mention a dozen movie titles, and as I said, the quality is pretty good. Heck, they’re only 99 cents!Next Saturday afternoon, Mark Kausler and I are hosting an Asifa Hollywood screening of classic Van Beuren TOM & JERRY cartoons at the AFI in Hollywood. We will show many rare titles not on these cheap dvds, including Wot A Night (the first in the series), Trouble, Joint Wipers, Tuba Tooter, Jolly Fish, Barnyard Bunk Tight Rope Tricks, Happy Hoboes, Puzzled Pals, and The Phantom Rocket (The last in the series). Join us on September 25th at 3pm and see what all the fuss is about.